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Welcome to Foodlets!

This blog could have just as easily been called, “not chicken nuggets” but Foodlets.com seemed cuter. My name is Charity Curley Mathews and my dream is to have children who eat food, real food, natural food, often organic, rarely processed, sometimes ethnic, food. And I would prefer that the food not end up on the floor.

So far I have two children--one is a toddler and the second is on a breast-milk only diet for the time being. So we’ll focus on Phoebe who is a hit or miss eater. This blog is a personal chronicle of feeding Phoebe (and eventually Estelle) but it's also about ideas, things that have worked for us, things I think will work for us and hopefully your suggestions on what works too. Together, we might be able to feed these kids and live to enjoy it!

Read more about me and my blog…or just dig in! Thanks for coming and trust me, there's plenty of material so please come (and comment) often.

Fatty acids make babies smarter

September 29, 2011

THIS IS NO FISH TALE. A new study came out last week making it official. Fatty acids are beneficial for babies.

Tue, Sep 20, 2011 (HealthDay News via BabyCenter) — Whether they’re fed by bottle or breast, babies seem to turn out smarter when nourished with healthy fatty acids found in breast milk and some formulas, two new studies indicate.

Especially girl babies.

During extensive testing measuring IQ, memory, attention and other cognitive functions, the children who exclusively received supplemented formula showed benefits in several cognitive measures. Also, girls — but not boys — demonstrated significant advantages in literacy, including reading and spelling. The apparent gender effects concur with growing research describing differences in boys and girls in the brain’s vulnerability to outside forces, including nutrition, the study authors said.

My mom, who’s a bit of a former-hippie-turned-yuppy-health nut, has been taking a fish oil supplement for years to ward off heart problems. Doctors also say it’s a mood stabilizer for those prone to depression. Here’s the link for babies: because the same fatty acids found in fish oil also appear in breast milk (and fortified formulas) babies who breastfeed or drink fortified formula are benefiting too. I took a fish oil supplement during both of my pregnancies and continued through my breastfeeding days. Both girls seem to be thriving and if fatty acids had something to do with it, all the better.

Best baby food freezing trays

September 28, 2011

I LOVE THESE THINGS. We got our first Beaba tray on a trip to Paris before Phoebe was even born, which makes it about a year before the thing was used. But once it was…perfection. Isn’t it refreshing when you buy something that actually makes your life easier instead of annoying? A series of baby slings comes to mind but I digress… Read more…

Chicken with plum sauce and roasted vegetables

September 26, 2011

IT’S THE TAIL END OF PLUM SEASON IN ROME. With so many to eat in so little time (namely, before a fruit fly colony invades our kitchen) plums got upgraded from snack item to dessert to dinner. These sweet little beauties are a great source of fiber plus vitamins C, A and K. To be honest I don’t know much about vitamin K but perhaps its the unsung hero of the vitamin world and if so, we’re all set because we’ve been eating a lot of plums around here! Read more…

Chocolate scones with peanut butter

August 22, 2011

TOAST. TOAST WITH JAM. TOAST with peanut butter.  This is how most mornings begin at our house, with a request for the same thing. Every day. Toast. In the past it’s been oatmeal which I admit is a gooier task to prepare and certainly to clean up. But really, how much can a piece of toast stick with you? The reason I ask is that we have a two year-old. One who has tantrums, and she does so pretty often. I don’t know if blood sugar is a contributing factor but I’d like to just rule it out. I know what you’re thinking. Are chocolate scones really the way to do it? Maybe. Read more…

Straccetti

August 18, 2011

THIS IS A CLASSIC ITALIAN MEAL, so naturally I’d never heard of it. That was before I moved to Rome and discovered that Italian food is more than pasta, tomatoes and cheese. (But they do that very well.) One of my favorite summer meals has turned out to be a version of the Big Salad I ate on a daily basis in NYC. Atop fresh and peppery arugula, comes fast-cooked strips of thin beef and shaved parmigiano cheese. If you’re lucky there’s also a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar. It’s the perfect mix of hot and cold, crisp and tender, sweet and salty. Mmm. Read more…

Zucchini mini-muffins

August 16, 2011

LET IT BE SAID THAT COOKING WITH FOUR KIDS under three is crazy ill advised. A fact, now burned clearly into my brain, was somehow unknown when I went into this project last week. A fellow ex-pat brought her toddler and baby over for some pint-sized baking at my suggestion. Along with my own toddler and baby, this was somewhere between two and four too many babies. But alas, cook we did.

One of the afternoon’s funniest moments came right at the beginning.

Read more…

Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, really

August 10, 2011

I DIDN’T MAKE IT FOR PHOEBE. This was a parallel lunch last week; I made her some nice fluffy eggs with cheese and planned to top mine with smoked salmon, a decadent treat I got hooked on during my NYC days. Read more…